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Journey to Justice: The Case of Gary Galstad

GLP Attorneys proudly pursues justice for our clients who have been injured at their place of work. We are pleased to share the story of the case of Gary Galstad, who we were able to help reach a large settlement after a harrowing maritime workplace accident

Diving Accident While Working at Sea

On February 2nd, 2017, Gary was working as a diver for the 520 bridge project in Seattle. His diving company was hired to replace cable anchors that extended from the bridge to the bottom of Lake Washington. 

On the day of the incident, Gary was diving below a pontoon where work was being done. While he was underwater, the crew working above him had unsecured an 8-foot-tall spool with anchor cable. This spool was at the edge of the pontoon and ended up falling into the water, catching Gary’s diving hose – causing his body to jerk backward. 

This accident left Gary with significant lower back injuries. He underwent surgery to replace the disc in his back and received a permanent fixture in his back known as a “spinal cord stimulator.” 

While Gary was fortunate to have medical treatment for his injuries, the spinal cord stimulator in his back prevented him from going back to work as a diver because it can only be used for a diving depth of ten feet. The surgery allowed him to live a better quality of life with his injuries, but it also ended his career. 

The Case Against KGM and AUS

Gary’s case was complex because there were three companies involved with the construction project. This was also a maritime workplace injury which adds an additional layer of complexity to the case.

In order to assess what went wrong, Sara Maleki, Shareholder of GLP Attorneys’ Spokane and Tri-Cities Office and Jim Gooding, Shareholder of GLP Attorneys’ Seattle Office, reached out to the crew members for testimonies. 

After interviewing around fifteen people who all admitted that the spool was unclamped but did not say who was responsible, Sara and Jim realized that this was a coverup. Through their interviews, they also discovered that there was no communication with Gary when the workers unsecured the spool as he was working underwater.  

The defendants in the case tried to argue that the spool did not hit Gary or his dive hose. However, the evidence of his back injuries – and the many AUS employees who testified that he was injured, helped Gary and GLP Attorneys win the case. 

What Was the Settlement?

At the beginning of the case, the companies AUS and KGM offered no money. Fighting hard for Gary, Sara and Jim were able to win him a $2.85 million dollar settlement from KGM and a $150 thousand dollar settlement from AUS. 

The companies involved eventually had to recognize that having no one admit to un-securing the spool but also having witnesses to the accident was ingenuous and a mistake. 

At the end of the case, the companies got scared and admitted that Gary did have a significant injury due to workplace negligence. 

When Gary was out of work due to his back injuries, his family was forced to sell their home and move into an RV with four young children. This win meant a lot for Gary and his family. This settlement has helped Gary and his family live more comfortably and allow them to pay their bills, including the large medical bills from the hospital. 

GLP Attorneys is Proud of Our Success

GLP Attorneys works hard to provide clients like Gary with the best possible outcomes for their personal injury cases. 

The case represents one of GLP Attorneys’ core values: collaboration. All of the complex cases that GLP Attorneys receive are a team effort. Sara, Jim, and a team of paralegals and legal assistants were able to work together to build a strong case for Gary and win him and his family a seven-figure settlement. Through strong collaboration, GLP Attorneys is able to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident, please call 206.752.4866, or email our attorneys at for a free consultation.

If you have been involved in an accident, please call or email our attorneys for a free consultation